Changes to rules, learned in Audit

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
surf40
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Changes to rules, learned in Audit

Postby surf40 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:59 am

I’m a stake auditor, and in our kickoff meeting last night we learned of a two changes in the financial rules for making the bank deposits and signing FO checks
The new question for the audit is:

• Are the funds always taken to the bank by the member of the bishopric and the other Melchizedek Priesthood holder who prepared the deposit?

The change is that the bank deposit now must be taken by the same two people that prepared the deposit (opened the envelopes). In the past, any member of the bishopric and the clerk could take it, or two members of the bishopric. This mostly happened when the bishop (who did not count) says he is going by the bank, and he’ll go with the other person that counted.
This isn’t the only rule change. With regard to Fast Offering checks, another new question is:

• Was every check signed by two authorized people who were not related to the payee or to the person being
assisted?

So if the bishop’s brother owns an apartment that a ward member is living in, and that ward member is receiving FO assistance with the rent, the bishop is NOT allowed to sign the check.

This is all fine if they want to change these rules , what is strange is they did NOT convey these changes to any of the units. We had all the clerks in the meeting last night, and not one of them had heard of these changes. So, we as auditors will be the first to tell them, and then record an exception on the audit for not following a rule that they did not even know existed. There must be a better way to do this.

drepouille
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Re: Changes to rules, learned in Audit

Postby drepouille » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:48 am

I am on the stake audit committee. As I recall, most of these changes to the audit are not actually changes to policy or procedure. The audit questions were changed and clarified to bring them into harmony with the requirements of Handbooks 1 and 2.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

waltbristow
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Re: Changes to rules, learned in Audit

Postby waltbristow » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:12 am

As an Assistant Area Auditor, as soon as I hear about audit changes like this, I try to get the word out. Most often changes clarify existing policies or procedures that are stated in the Handbooks. However, the existing written materials may not say it clearly. Changes in audit questions seem to be a way to bring that clarity.

If were on the other side of the table (the side being audited), I wouldn't mind having something noted as an audit exception. When I was on the other side of the table, I was always grateful for those exceptions. They gave me an opportunity to go to others and say, "Hey! Bet you didn't know this, but we're supposed to..."

surf40
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Re: Changes to rules, learned in Audit

Postby surf40 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:14 pm

drepouille wrote:I am on the stake audit committee. As I recall, most of these changes to the audit are not actually changes to policy or procedure. The audit questions were changed and clarified to bring them into harmony with the requirements of Handbooks 1 and 2.


Very good point! So the change in Audit questions is just enforcing rules that have always been in a handbook, but never really enforced. It would be great if when they make these changes to the audit questions, they would have a footnote to the question that references the exact paragraph in the handbook that states the rule. Then everybody learns.

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sbradshaw
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Re: Changes to rules, learned in Audit

Postby sbradshaw » Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:12 pm

The audit questions, in many cases, provide specific policy on issues that the Handbook doesn't clarify. Not all of the audit requirements can be found in the Handbook.

When we had our stake audit training, the assistant area auditor told us that he expects wards to have a few more exceptions than usual for the past audit period, and not to worry about it.
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Re: Changes to rules, learned in Audit

Postby russellhltn » Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:24 pm

sbradshaw wrote:When we had our stake audit training, the assistant area auditor told us that he expects wards to have a few more exceptions than usual for the past audit period, and not to worry about it.


I think it's fair to say that a exception in the church world is quite different from the business world. It doesn't affect your pay, annual review nor your opportunities for promotion. :D

It's just an exception, not a demerit.
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drepouille
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Re: Changes to rules, learned in Audit

Postby drepouille » Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:36 pm

surf40 wrote:Very good point! So the change in Audit questions is just enforcing rules that have always been in a handbook, but never really enforced. It would be great if when they make these changes to the audit questions, they would have a footnote to the question that references the exact paragraph in the handbook that states the rule. Then everybody learns.


Two examples:
Checks and payment approval forms require two authorized signatures. Neither authorized signer should be the payee. For example, a counselor in the bishopric, though he is an authorized signer, should not sign a check or a payment approval form if he is the person receiving the payment. (See Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops [2010], 14.6.7.)

if a fast-offering payment provides assistance to a counselor in the bishopric or to anyone related to that counselor, the counselor should not sign the check or payment approval form. (See “Fast Offerings” in Handbook 1, 5.2.4.)
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

calebroyfox
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Re: Changes to rules, learned in Audit

Postby calebroyfox » Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:14 pm

Question: If a fast-offering payment is made out to the Bishop or a member of his family, but it is intended "for" someone else, does the Stake President need to approve/review the expense?

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Re: Changes to rules, learned in Audit

Postby eblood66 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:29 pm

calebroyfox wrote:Question: If a fast-offering payment is made out to the Bishop or a member of his family, but it is intended "for" someone else, does the Stake President need to approve/review the expense?

The bishop may be payee without requiring stake president approval as long as the bishop (or family) is not to fast offering recipient. But the bishop should not sign the check in this case.

However I would make absolutely sure that there is documentation showing the expense is truly for the actual recipient just to avoid any appearance of impropriety.


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